French Open berth at stake for
USTA Pro Circuit players
Sally Milano | April 5, 2016
Beginning next week, American players competing on the USTA Pro Circuit will have the chance to earn a wild card into the upcoming French Open.
The 2016 USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge consists of three men's and three women's events. The American man and American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA ranking points at two of the three clay-court events will earn a main-draw wild card into this year's French Open. Only Americans who did not earn direct entry into the French Open are eligible.
The USTA and the French Tennis Federation have a reciprocal agreement in which wild cards into the 2016 French Open and US Open are exchanged.
The Wild Card Challenge women’s events will be hosted in Dothan, Ala., the week of April 18; Charlottesville, Va., the week of April 25; and Indian Harbour Beach, Fla. ADVERTISEMENT , the week of May 2. The men’s tournaments will take place in Sarasota, Fla., the week of April 11; Savannah, Ga., the week of April 18; and Tallahassee, Fla., the week of April 25.
All of the events are at the $50,000 prize-money level except for Sarasota, which is a $100,000 tournament, and Indian Harbour Beach, which is a $75,000 event.
This is the fifth consecutive year the USTA has used the challenge format to award French Open wild cards to American players. The USTA first used the format for its 2012 French Open wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker. Oudin and Baker each advanced to the second round at that year’s tournament and subsequently broke into the Top 100.
In 2013, Alex Kuznetsov and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Rogers winning her first-ever Grand Slam singles match at the French Open. In 2014, young American Taylor Townsend and veteran Robby Ginepri took the wild cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline by reaching the Roland Garros third round. Last year, up-and-coming stars Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico (pictured above) secured the main-draw entries.
The 2016 French Open main draw will be held Sunday, May 22, to Sunday, June 5.